Friday, February 1, 2008

Nice Paddle Today: Get it while you can!


Finally got in a surf today. Jammed down to the beach at noon, mixed swell with an incoming tide; not the best conditions but after being out of the water for five days I wasn't too concerned with what I had in front of me. Big Chad and I ended up cruising the beach first north then down south and back to our launch snagging waves and chatting as we did our surfing. The paddle out was what I'd call technically challenging. Handling these boards ain't for the timid, especially today. There's a new sand bar that's formed about fifty yards off the beach, paddling out to it wasn't a problem, getting across it and through the head high surf at low tide was the tricky part.

Waves were coming out of relatively deep water, sucking up on the suddenly shallow bar and pitching top to bottom. So there you are in knee deep water pushing your board out through chest high walls of white wash and dodging little death bombs. Gave me a whole new level of respect for the guys in the islands who have to do this on living reef. How would it be, teetering between urchin spine and coral spike while the water drains to ankle deep off the reef. Your boards stretched to the end of your leash pulling you into the head high wave that's about to detonate five feet in front of you. Where you going to hide now? That's a totally different ballgame requiring a whole different skill set.

These last big storms with all the runoff and wave action have carved features into the sand bottom of our beach. We've got big holes, longshore gutters and offshore sandbars, the kind of stuff that keeps the lifeguards in business and can bend corners out of closeouts. The buzz around town is that tomorrow might be our best opportunity. We've got a high tide dropping all morning, a small swell in the water and winds are looking pretty calm. I'm not sticking around for it though, I'm hooking up with some friends for a surf up the coast. Pics and report to follow. Hope you're getting some.

6 comments:

Gabe said...

I'll try and see how it is tomm. morning with something I thought up of and get going early so when will you be back in IB's?

NC Paddle Surfer said...

Your waves are so much better than ours. Send some our way.

srfnff said...

Nice wave! Head high peeler...life is good. Anybody can stand up paddle in flat water...crashing whitewater is for real men.(Actually it's the easiest way to handle your SUP in the white wash eh? I'd rather stand up and get washed off than lay down or kneel and get beat up!)

John Ashley said...

See you down there early and then I'm outta town for most of the day!

John Ashley said...

Hey NC Paddlesurfer: Wish it got like this more often- I just love those days when you can really open up these big boards and see what they can do... I don't think either of us get enough of those!

John Ashley said...

Hey Gary- you're right, life is good. I did get smacked today trying to paddle through a head high wall of the white stuff- I just get up to ramming speed and see what happens. This time, the stuff hit back and rang my bell, bent me over like a scorpion- ouch! I prefer channels and point breaks but this is all we got!